re: progressive beliefs & status report


Richard Moore

Bcc: contributors


Here’s the next batch of responses on our belief thread. In the whole history of cyberjournal (about 15 years) no thread has received as much participation. 

I’ve just come across a very good report on vaccines, from Dr. Russell Blaylock. His sources are all mainstream, and what he says is very important… and very frightening. There is a must-listen audio interview plus an article:

The interview is long, but worth listening all the way through. Toward the end, he talks about vaccinations in Africa. Under conditions of serious malnutrition, 1/3 of the children who were vaccinated died. Very interesting, when you consider that Bill Gates is using his money to increase the rate of such vaccinations. He’s also part of a major new global investment group whose theme is population reduction. 


From: Robert Gregory 
Date: 18 October 2009 03:42:33 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: progressive beliefs
Dear Richard
Thank you very much for the commentary you offered to Ralph – I recall a similar statement made to me by someone else a while back, where I was attacked ad hominem because I was questioning some particular topic.  It just happens that I have been reading Richard P. Feynman’s book, “The meaning of it all” and his statements are so relevant and his entire book so good, that I thought I would copy just a little bit to add to your discussions.
     “We have a way of checking whether an idea is correct or not that has nothing to do with where it came from.  We simply test it against observations.  So in science we are not interested in where an idea comes from.  There is no authority who decides what is a good idea.  We have lost the need to go to an authority to find out whether an idea is true or not.”  “Scientists . . . are used to dealing with doubt and uncertainty.  All scientific knowledge is uncertain.  This experience with doubt and uncertainty is important.  I believe that it is of very great value, and one that extends beyond the sciences.  I believe that to solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to leave the door to the unknown ajar.  You have to permit the possibility that you do not have it exactly right.  Otherwise, if you have made up your mind already, you might not solve it.”   
     Richard, I for one appreciate your approach as being part of the scientific approach, quite distinct from the certainty that those authoritarian types have about faith and beliefs based on “authority” and I myself do my best to keep an open mind, my best to look at what’s out there, and my very best to question . . 
     . bob g
From: “A. Gayle Hudgens, PhD” 
Date: 18 October 2009 06:46:39 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re: progressive beliefs
Thanks for your message tonight. 
     It reminded me of a guideline that I strive to keep in mind: 
Unexamined assumptions can be dangerous. 
     This applies to a wide variety of events/situations, from personal relationships and health decisions to politics and economics… and beyond..
      Below are some timeless quotes to support your message (well, for the most part:).  
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.
   ~ Dante
No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. We need to see the world anew.
   ~ Albert Einstein 
To every complex question there is a simple answer and it is wrong…
   ~ H.L. Mencken
Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.-
   ~ John F. Kennedy
On flawed forecasts:
Forecasts tend to fail for one of seven interlocking reasons: unexamined assumptions, limited or misplaced expertise,lack of imagination, neglect of constraints, excessive optimism, mechanical extrapolation of trends, and over-specification.
   ~ Joe Coates
From: duthler 
Date: 18 October 2009 12:07:29 IST
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: progressive beliefs
Thanks for this one, Richard.  Your response is right on target.  In my other political club, I run across this type of thinking and responses very often.  You’ve put your finger on the ‘liberal’ shortcoming very well; something I’ve not been able to put into words well yet.  And I agree with your take on conservatives, have said the same for some time now.
This has been a very fruitful topic for me, for it gets at the heart of this facet of our reality.  I quoted it verbatim in a post at the other club, leaving out only your names and website, to keep out any form of judgment from those holding these “progressive”  (“liberal” is a better word in this case, I think) views.  I keep emphasizing “content” when these other ‘liberals or progressives’ keep talking about expert or well-regarded sources.  You put this nicely into words.
From: “marc bombois” 
Date: 19 October 2009 05:25:57 IST
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: progressive beliefs
Hi Richard,
rkm> “And yet, when the documentary was over, my friend said, “I don’t know, I saw another documentary that seemed to explain all this”… This is confusion, or not knowing, being used as an irrational defense mechanism.”
Frustrating, but for me not surprising. Years ago I read this very good article
that reminded me of my experience in the est training, which is an investigation into human being. In short, the primary directive of the mind/brain is survival of the organism, and our belief systems are built to support that, and any threat to our beliefs is treated as a threat to our very survival. This is our mental machinery, and it’s not necessarily bad – this is how the spoon gets into the mouth – but as long as it is unobserved and unconcious we live and think and believe and behave robotically.
So not only are we up against the fascist elite, we’re up against ourselves. How many of us know about the banking/money scam, let alone understand how we tick? Woefully few. Nonetheless, the fight goes on and I’m with you.
Hi Marc,

Many thanks for the article. It is indeed very good, and it is the inspiration for the essay I’m working on. I recommend that people read it. I reposted the article to newslog:
     Gregory W. Lester: Why beliefs don’t die

From: jackson davis 
Date: 1 November 2009 13:29:10 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: brief status report
rkm> probably Wednesday, I’ll share the essay, which is still in development. It builds on our ‘beliefs’ thread, and brings in culture, community, dialog, and more. 

My favorite philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset, said “We sustain ideas, but beliefs sustain us.” An idea may occur to us and we may find the idea useful for a specific purpose in our lives. If we sustain that idea by sharing it with others and they also find it useful, then it will be adopted by thsm and eventually it may become so useful that it is sustained by the society as a whole. At this point it becomes a belief.
Over time a) another idea may occur to someone that is more useful in solving the problem and the new idea spreads in a similar manner until it also becomes a belief, or b) conditions change so that the problem does not occur any more and there is no longer a need for the belief. In either case the original belief is no longer useful.
However, the original belief may linger in the society because the various individuals and institutions which have been sustained by the original belief are resistant to change. So any new idea will have to “fight” against the entrenched belif befor it is adopted by tne society as a whole.
From: Diana Skipworth 
Date: 1 November 2009 15:00:34 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: brief status report
rkm> I even walked two miles in the rain the next day to discuss this with the organizers, but they couldn’t be bothered and wouldn’t talk to me.

Dear Richard,
You are so far ahead of your time; yet in a few years these same types will be ringing your phone off the hook.  Mark my words.  Soon the need for your expertise will be in great demand.  D. Skipworth
Hi Diana,

I appreciate your encouragement, but I don’t really have much expertise. I’m more like the kid who pointed out that the emperor has no clothes. My specialty is trusting my own judgement, using logical thinking and common sense, and insisting on understanding things rather than taking anything on authority. My ‘message’ is that we all need to do this, and do it together using listening-based dialog. Madeline’s message, the next one below, is very relevant. 

From: “Madeline Bruce” 
Date: 1 November 2009 13:44:42 GMT
Subject: Re: brief status report
I think that the unwillingness, or fear,  or whatever it is that stops people from engaging in dialogue  is dangerously endemic in our society.  It is one of those things that we are being subtly brainwashed with, and then, habituated, we carry on doing ourselves. Many different things are contributing to this mind numbing.  Often, in restaurants, they are playing cheap, lousy music which is just offensive, not pleasant at all.  When I ask the staff to turn it off, I am often told that they CAN’T, as it is centrally controlled. Sometimes I get told that they have learned to “tune it out”.    I shudder to think what that constant din does to the nervous system of employees who can’t get away from it for eight hours or more.  In the shopping malls, which I am mostly avoiding, it is not uncommon to hear 3 or 4 “songs” blasting from various stores at a time!  How stupid is this?  Having studied group dynamics and trained as a group therapist, I know that a thoughtful group of people can grow and develop creatively.  One of the features that contributes to that is occasional moments of silence.  That can be anxiety provoking, as we are not used to experiencing that in our social lives, but they are fruitful.  They allow people to dig deeper under the surface of their minds, in the same way that meditation does. – Madeline Bruce, Nanaimo, B. C.   

From: Kristin Jensen 
Date: 1 November 2009 16:49:26 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: brief status report
what is a resilient community?
Hi Kristin,

This is one of the good things I got from the recent conference. Here’s what my online dictionary says:


[ri-zil-yuhnt, zil-ee-uhnt] 


1. springing back; rebounding.
2. returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched.
3. recovering readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyant.
It’s very complementary to sustainable. Not only do we want sustainable communities, but communities that have robustness, or resiliency – the ability to maintain their equilibrium in the face of disturbances. In ecosystems, diversity adds to resiliency. 


From: amelia roache 
Date: 1 November 2009 21:16:24 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rkm: brief status report
thank you for continued inspiration, consistence, insistence and consideration for all. 
people tend to freak-out when they hear that they’re “wrong”.  whether or not you say that or, are taking opposition (or not). when people hear this they often feel angry.  we’ve been trained this way.  therein, counter-attack/”defense” is imperative–keep war-ing kids, it’ll save our country or at least your own ass. and, when folks are scared for their survival, they will question even their own best logic, intuition and the sage of a close friend.
we sure try hard to believe in something and then impose rather than share. i’ve found life much more enjoyable when wondering.
i’m guessing that the format of an e-mail group that is circulated by one person (such as yourself), choosing subject, initiating dialogue etc. and fully determined as an agent for change cannot possibly be a means for the Process you desire. 
just a few thoughts on a sunday afternoon in between tending to the garden, enjoying music and digesting.
much thanks,
Hi Amelia,

You are quite right. This list is not an example of the kind of dialog I recommend. Real dialog needs to be face-to-face. The actual words are only part of the picture. There’s body language, pauses, intonation, and much more. However, in this current thread, I think we’re getting closer to real dialog than I’ve seen before on email lists. 

We all deserve a bit of applause for that.